Saturday, April 2, 2011

Count Your Blessings

I have been in kind of a strange place these days...  I have tons of blog posts in my queue, all unfinished...a pile of laundry at the bottom of my stairs endless pile of dishes, that though I feel I am washing constantly, remains unfinished...  I assume you get the picture, only those who have been unfortunate enough to enter my home see the enormity of my failure, and for those people...I am very sorry :).  Then you combine that with my short temper, and my general frazzled, forgetful, brain that can't organize a thought, let alone a sentence, or an action... and I have basically been feeling like I'm in a sand pit.  I claw and claw my way up the side and think, I'm doing this, I am going to get to the top! (You know in the morning when I have already gotten the kids off to school and gotten some laundry started and dishes done.  And I'm thinking, at this rate, I'll have time to clean these two rooms today AND, maybe have time to help Jayden with his homework and, read to the kids and, maybe even let them do an art project while I make dinner!  And, TODAY I'm going to have dinner ready ON TIME!  YES!!!)  Then, the next thing I know, It's four o'clock...It feels like I just blinked.  (While making meals, solving fights, feeding my constantly hungry baby, and admittedly, checking facebook)  Oh well, so much for two clean rooms, homework, and art projects...good thing he's still in kindergarten!!  I better hurry and fill the dishwasher again and start dinner, at least that will be on time tonight...  Of course that gets interrupted several times and I am at six thirty going...  Oh no!  We are eating at 7 again and my poor children are STARVING, and where in the heck are all those clean dishes, and who dumped that chocolate milk behind the table!?!?  Man, I wish I swept up those cheerios this morning before they dumped that milk!  And I never changed that batch out!!!  So basically, I claw my way up and get just high enough to see success, and that darn sand starts sliding.  Before I know it I am back at the bottom, exhausted, and NO CLOSER to the summit.  I have often pictured myself in some natural setting like this, I don't know why.  In the past I pictured myself climbing the side of the mountain with my kids in a pack on my back.  It was a hard climb, but then I could take a rest, look out, and see a beautiful view.  I don't know how I got from there to this SAND PIT!  I'm going back to the mountains, they are the place I love.
I read a little article in the friend, and got some amazing advice from my mom.  (As usual, do you know my mom?  If you do, you are a lucky person.)  I think I am getting out of this place!  I have been slowly implementing her suggestions, as well as some goals of my own.  Oddly, my physical surroundings have not changed much...  I am still WAY overweight, and I don't think I am any more organized yet... but I yelled a lot less this week!  And my mental imagery has changed some...  I picture a winding path.  Still a little dark, but mountainous, with the darkness coming from trees shading it, that has to be a good thing.  I hated the monotony of that sand pit ;).  And I feel happy.  Now I have never not felt blessed.  I have AMAZING children and a fantastic husband.  I just felt like the blight on their otherwise happy lives.  And I was starting to feel helpless to change anything.
Now, I have a long way to go, but I am trying to adopt some things that will help me do better physically.  I love having goals and feeling like you are moving toward some level of accomplishment.  But more importantly, I want to FEEL good.  And though accomplishing my goals does help, I have needed a spiritual overhaul.  In case any of you feel like me, here are the suggestions that my mom gave me for baby steps that can be done even in a crazy busy life.  I have sporadically read scriptures, or the Ensign, but in my disorganized life, I find that I do one thing one day, and different things the next and a week or several, will go by without any study.  She suggested playing primary songs all day on the radio, as one way to change the spirit in my home.  That is the only one that I have fully implemented, and it has helped A LOT!  I'll get there eventually with these other two!  Playing the scriptures on the computer in the morning while I get ready and make Jay's lunch etc...  And getting dressed and ready for the day first thing.  (Anyone who has seen me in recent months know I have not yet implemented this one!)
The other thing that has helped me was a little article I read to the kids from the friend.  It is an exerpt from a Talk given by Henry B. Eyring in the October 2007 general conference.  I haven't read the whole talk yet, I am going to include what I read in the friend here:
"Forgetting God has been a problem among His children since the world began. Think of the times of Moses, when God provided manna and in miraculous and visible ways led and protected His children. Still the prophet warned the people: “Take heed … lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies. You remember that song we sometimes sing: “Count your many blessings; name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done” (“Count Your Blessings,” Hymns, no. 241).
When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.
The Holy Ghost helps us see what God has done for us. I testify that God loves us and blesses us more than most of us have yet recognized. I know that is true, and it brings me joy to remember Him."

Attitude is SO much a deciding factor in our lives.  So my first goal tied to this is to change the way I think.  I think so many negative thoughts...  Mostly about myself and my many failures, but even more than that...  If I am stressed about a social situation or something negative that might happen or has happened I have these conversations in my head about what I wish I said, or even worse what I could say if the confrontation I imagine might happen actually does happen.  (Of course usually those imagined confrontations NEVER happen)  And isn't that sick?  Who spends their life thinking over and over of their stinging reply they wish they said when someone said something rude...LET IT GO!  And worse, the what if some person says something mean to them next week when a stressful situation might happen at this event or that??  Who thinks of their possible reply in a situation like that!?!  I am so weird...  So the one thing I got out of this is to STOP thinking, let alone saying bad things.  I am trying not to gossip, or even let myself think anything bad about another person, or about myself.  The primary songs have helped a TON with this.  Both to making me aware of negative thoughts and helping me purge those bad habits!  As with everything else, I have a LONG way to go.
The other goal I have tied to this is to record in my journal, positive things that have happened each week.  Or where we have been touched by the hand of God.  Since my blog is my journal, maybe I'll be actually catching up on it!
My other feel good goals beside continuing to work toward organization are to do the things I love to do.  I love to spend time with my kids.  I love to blog.  And I love to sew, and make things.  So those are some things that I am going to do.  My favorite quick sewing project of late, is fabric flowers.  So I am going to make some every week for my girls and to sell on ebay or give as gifts.  If anyone who reads this has any interest in buying flowers, let me know and I'll post the ones I make each week.  I'll probably be selling them for 3-5 bucks each.  Also, if anyone wants me to make a particular kind...  If you'll buy me five bucks worth of material and whatever centers you want for the flowers, I'll make you two flowers of whatever size and kind you want. (That is if you want a particular center.  I make soft fleece or felt centers on big flowers and I can put a button or jewel if it is a small flower.  But if you want a covered button, or other large button you'll have to buy them.)  I can post or email pics of the kinds I make if anyone has interest.  And I'll just keep the extra fabric as payment.  (That will help me work on my hobby without spending money that I don't have!)  Also, anyone who sews and wants to help me out, please give me any scraps of fabric or ribbon that you won't use.  I can make flowers with very small amts of fabric, so if you are going to throw it away anyway, I would love to have it!! :)  Life is great and we are so blessed to be here!  I am going to count my four special blessings on another post today or tomorrow, but for now, goodbye!  And thanks for listening :).


Onyx said...

Negative thinking could kill us all. I know how hard it is to overcome and it never seems to go away, but I like your ideas for combating it. I haven't been an active member of the church for awhile, but I know that listening to hymns or reading scriptures still gives me a lift. Keep it up and it will get easier!

Ben and Taryn said...

Tara, you can do it!!! One of my mottos has always been "By small and simple things, great things come to past". Start small and slowly get working on those goals and I know you can do it.

I'd love to see pictures of the flowers you are making. I'll go through my stash and get you some fabric when you come down in a couple weeks :)

Esther said...

Thanks for sharing this Tara! I feel like I share a lot of the same struggles. I bet a lot of moms with young kids have the same frustrations. It is a hard never ending job! I am going to have to try some of the suggestions you mentioned. They sound really helpful.

Barb's Boys said...

Great blog Tara...I know it can seem very unfulfilling when you are home all day with the kids and at the end of the day you wonder what in the world you accomplished...what you need to see is way down the road when you have happy productive grown up kids that know love.

Post some of your small do you make them, I may need some for my cards.

Erica said...

I LOVE THIS! I feel the same way. I have had to limit my FB time also - it really is a time sucker!
I like that you changed the imagery from a pit to a winding mountain path! I will need to implement that too! I love your mom so much!
BTW- I will buy tons of flowers from you. I have made a few but don't have time, I particullarly liked the burned ones. Any who, you are an inspiration and I will have to call you more instead of checking in on facebook, it will be nice to reconnect with your voice instead of taking that relationship for granted. I love you. you ARE awesome!

Rachel said...

You're awesome Tara! Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you. I know you don't see it as much as the rest of us do but you are a strong and inspiring person. You have a LOT of things down that I struggle with and I know you'll improve the things you want to. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need from us and the man upstairs :) I LOVE YOU!

Candice said...

I totally know how you feel Tara! (as you already know because I've talked with you extensively about it on the phone over the last couple of weeks) Thanks for telling us what you're doing...I'm totally going to try to implement some of those things. LOVE you!

Connie and Rob said...

I can't believe how well you express your feelings, Tara. when I was going through your stage of life, I couldn't hardly even recognize my feelings. I'd have never been able to write it down so well. One more thought: start over every day. What happened yesterday doesn't matter anymore. Life's path is just a series of starting over. You only fail if you quit. If life were the same as I expected it to be, I'd be there helping sometimes instead of so many miles away. So much for that thought!! You lift the spirits of so many. We've come to expect that from you. Maybe we don't give it back often enough. Love you SO much! And I'm SO proud of you!!